MMJ for Dravet Syndrome

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc. 

Dravet syndrome, or severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) is one of the more severe forms of epilepsy that develops early in life. Because of the syndrome's high frequency of seizures, children often have trouble developing language and motor skills, experience hyperactivity, and have problems relating to others. The seizures are typically fever related, and they can be triggered by body temperature changes, flashing lights, or even emotions. According to NIDA, 30-80% of Dravet syndrome cases are due to a defect in the SCN1A gene. Studies have shown cannabis can reduce and sometimes eliminate seizures for those suffering with this specific form of epilepsy.

CBD not only reduces or eliminates seizures in childhood epilepsy disorders, but it is also well-tolerated by patients. CBD has this power because it activates CB1 receptors which then inhibit the release of particular neurotransmitters and reduce overall neuronal excitability, therefore silencing things that might trigger a seizure. Significant clinical trials are still lacking due to marijuana's Schedule I statues, but early research suggests cannabis could provide substantial relief for pediatric epilepsy. In a questionnaire, 84% of parents reported their children had witnessed a reduction in seizure frequency. Half of these parents reported a greater than 80% reduction in seizures, and 11% of parents reported their children became completely seizure free. Another survey had similar findings, and also found that 53% of children witnessed improvements in sleep, 71% became more alert, and 63% had better moods while being treated with CBD.

This information has been brought to you by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.